Bird on a Bare Branch

Attempting to fling a frail song in my little corner of the world

Sponges January 28, 2012

Filed under: Teaching — Jen @ 4:41 am

I am so proud of my kids!  They are so eager to learn, and I love teaching them.  I’ve only been with them for four weeks, but I’ve already seen growth in that short amount of time.  Even this week, there has been evidence of learning…little nuggets that make me so happy:

– Several students in both groups (3rd/4th grade in the morning and 1st/2nd grade in the afternoon) who are very beginners with English took risks this week by raising their hands to answer questions in whole group.

– We’ve been working on subtraction this week and I overheard one of my boys, who struggles with school, talking to himself: “Okay, I need to count backward…11 minus 4…put 11 in my head…11.  10, 9, 8, 7.”

– M.O., who typically sits for a solid two hours doing absolutely no work – truly, I’ve never met a child like this – discovered he could do a subtraction assignment the other day.  He’d cross the little pictures out then count what was left and yell, “Teacher, 5!  Right?  5!”  I’d give him a thumbs up then he’d repeat the process for the next one, and so he yelled out and I thumbed-up all the way through the assignment.

– I always start my small groups out with a warm-up of counting around the table.  Yesterday, just as one group sat down, I was interrupted by another group working on a math game on the floor.  I said, “Just a minute,” to the group at the table and went to address the issue on the floor.  When I came back, the group had already started counting around the table.

– I often say “good job” to my kids, and I’ve been overhearing them saying it to each other when they notice one another doing something well.

– Everyday I have a different door holder for the day.  Usually a handful of kids will say “thank you” to him or her as they walk through.  The other day I pointed out how nice it was that someone had said thank you to the door holder.  Since then every child says thank you to the door holder.

– This week I introduced journals to my homeroom (3rd/4th).  They spent a couple days writing about their families then we had a circle sharing time this afternoon for a few kids to read what they had written.  I allowed other kids to ask questions.  One girl had written about her brother giving her $100 for Christmas.  A boy asked, “If your brother give you $100, how many money he have left?”  We’ve been working on subtraction in math and using the vocabulary “how many” and “are left”.  I loved that this boy made the connection and was using it in a real-life situation.

I continue to be so grateful for this job and these kids.  After last year, I didn’t think I could find joy in teaching, but these moments truly bring me joy.


4 Responses to “Sponges”

  1. Lynne Hubers Says:

    I sat here smiling through this whole blog, Jennifer. It makes me happy to read how happy you are teaching again.


  2. I did something wrong, so I’ll try again. Your enthusiasm for teaching these children is so evident, Jen. I’m sure they are catching your enthusiasm along with their learning. Keep up the good work! Grandma

  3. Kacie Says:

    That is so amazing. Truly.
    The US system is pretty messed up that it completely saps the enthusiasm out of great teachers.

  4. Dianna Says:

    Awesome! It must feel really good to see the success you are helping these kids achieve!

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